Healing and Hilarity in “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

If David Sedaris and Anne Lamott had a baby together… it would be this book.   And I mean that in the best possible way. Sometimes the market seems saturated with spiritual memoirs. (I know, because I want to write one and editors tell me as much…) They range in tone from super feels-y to very jaded; and in creed from the ultra-conservative-gone-athiest to the other-way-around. Some speak to the spiritual-but-not religious crowed, and some address the religious-learning-to-be-spiritual bunch. Some have known… Read more

All the Weird, Wonderful World: A Back-to-School Prayer

As I mentioned last year, I am usually not the parent crying into my latte on the first day of school. For one thing, my kid LOVES school, so I am just happy to see her skipping off into hours of playtime, new-friend-making, and math–which she loves, which is beyond me, but go girl anyway. Mostly, I am just trying to get out of the massive crush of suburban parenthood without a)having a panic attack or b) absolutely losing my… Read more

Get Well Soon! And Other Perky Things Not to Say to a Dying Person

I was on my way out the door to visit a church member in hospice care. My travelling communion in hand, I remembered the stack of cards in my office–made by church kids for anyone who might be sick or homebound. This seemed like the perfect time to make use of their ministry gift, so I went to grab one. They were cheerful pictures–mostly of flowers–brightly colored, made with love, and all bearing the same message: Get well soon!  Yeah, I can’t take that to… Read more

$h*! Jesus Says: 7 Reasons I’m (Still) a Christian

This one’s for the Skeptics, the Cynics, the Critics; the Dones, the Nones, and the Professional Bu!!Sh*t Callers– I hear you. You’re my people. I see every bit of the drama, the pettiness, the poor stewardship, the moral grandstanding, the lack of authenticity and the love of tedious-meeting-having that defines westernized Christianity. I know it can be gross. I know. I know the music can be bad, and the utility bill is higher than the mission giving. I know that… Read more

And Yet: Two Words to Transform The Church

A friend of mine who works in youth ministry has a theory: Millennials, contrary to popular belief, are pro-institution. They will be the ones to rebuild all of the organizations that the Gen Xers have systematically destroyed. It’s true; we Xers have been pretty down on structure and systems ever since we endured the first rounds of education reform, only to find that all the tedious, test-driven exercises prepared us for nothing. ‘Not caring what anybody thinks of me!’ is our spiritual… Read more

A Good Week For Progress: Boy Scouts, Football, and America’s Man Caves

I live in Kansas–which, let’s face it, has never been the most forward-thinking place, but has lately begun to feel like an out-lying “District” in some dystopian YA novel. Conceal carry WiTHOUT A PERMIT for everyone! Who cares what the Supreme Court says about marriage equality–NOT HAPPENING AT OUR HOUSE! Let’s de-regulate industrial standards so we can just go ahead and turn our air and water into poison, and hey, while we’re at it, we’re going to oh-so-gradually de-fund public… Read more

Sinking Ships: 6 Do’s, and One Big Don’t, for Fundraising

Ever been on a sinking ship? I have. Literally. But not for long. Because the minute I figured out it was going down, I bailed. That’s what you DO when the boat’s in trouble… you get yourself elsewhere. Quickly. Which is why “sinking ship fundraising” doesn’t work. If you’ve ever been connected with an institution for any amount of time—a church, school, non-profit, or civic body—you’ve gotten “the pitch.” Maybe it was an email, a paper letter, a phone call,… Read more

More than Half Enough

Guest post, by Rev. Ryan Motter “Well, look at you.  You’re half the man you used to be.” It was in the line after worship, standing at the back door as we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.  The other congregation members were offering gentle reminders: “Don’t forget the Youth meeting on Wednesday,”  “Please remember that I’m having that procedure tomorrow morning,”  “I’ll be out of town for the next three weeks.  Pray for me.” From these folks, she comes up… Read more

Home By Another Way

I’m at my denomination’s General Assembly this week. Every other year, in the HOTTEST PART OF THE SUMMER, Disciples of Christ descend on some unsuspecting town–usually in the Midwest–and share a time of worship, workshops, celebration and visioning. There are business sessions too. So I hear… Anyway, there’s lots of STUFF going on, every minute of every day. At times, I’ve left my room at 7 in the morning and not gotten back until after midnight. (In a complete state… Read more

Saving Atticus

One day, all is right with the literary world… And then suddenly, one of the most significant characters of all time has transformed into someone we scarcely recognize. How does this happen? And what does it mean? First, a word about narrative sequence: Go Set a Watchman is not the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Nor is it an intentional prequel. As legend has it (b/c any word spoken in reference to Nell Harper Lee smacks of legend) the author penned these pages first…. Read more

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